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June 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

Find out how COVID-19 is accelerating adoption of telehealth while also affecting claims trends in the

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Healthcare Costs Have Plummeted; What’s Next?

As the medical community sought to increase hospital capacity to serve COVID-19 patients, reduce the spread of COVID-19, and follow social distancing mandates, medical claims volume dropped precipitously. Many patients elected to forego or delay medical care. Colonoscopies, knee and hip replacements have almost disappeared. A May 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking poll found that nearly half of adults (48%) say they or someone in their household have postponed or skipped medical care due to the coronavirus crisis.edHEALTH claims data reflect these trends. Pre-COVID, medical spending was running 14% ahead of 2019. During the pandemic, spending is down approximately 40% year over year.The KFF poll estimates that as stay-at-home restrictions ease, most (68% of those who delayed care, or 32% of all adults) expect to get the delayed care in the next three months. However, this timing c...

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Telehealth’s Popularity Soars

Employee Engagement Communications Help Spread the WordTelehealth, the remote delivery of healthcare clinical services, has soared in popularity nationally and for edHEALTH member schools. All twenty-three of our member institutions are enrolled in the Teladoc or Doctor on Demand video and telephone telehealth platforms, five more than last year. Four percent of members used telehealth in the first quarter, a significant jump over last year’s less than 0.5%.edHEALTH’s telehealth experience is in line with national trends where there was a 4300% jump in telehealth claims from May 2019 to March 2020, according to a FAIR Health Study. Telehealth offers a safe, convenient, and generally less-expensive way for patients to access healthcare with non-emergency medical services available 24 hours per day. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the temporary closing of on-site services, man...

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Cynthia McGrath Named Marketing Communications Strategist at edHEALTH

Consultant to Organization Joins the TeamedHEALTH officially welcomes Cynthia McGrath as its Marketing Communications Strategist. For the last few years, she has identified opportunities and implemented comprehensive communications campaigns for several healthcare, broker, and education clients, including edHEALTH. Prior to her consulting work, she was the long-time Communications Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, the agency that covers state and municipal workers, including UMass and the community college system. In this role, she communicated and advanced innovative healthcare solutions that have subsequently been widely adopted in the industry, such as tiering providers based on quality and cost efficiency, and promoting limited network plans.Over the past year, she rebuilt the website, created a strong social media presence, and other digit...

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May 2020 edHEALTH Newsletter

edHEALTH is responding to the coronavirus crisis through increased collaboration and communication. Find out how sharing best practices is helping member institutions respond to the challenges COVID-19-related shutdowns and other edHEALTH news in the May 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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First Vermont Institution to Join edHEALTH - Finds Move will Benefit Faculty, Staff, and College

Bennington College became familiar with edHEALTH six years ago when it began exploring alternative healthcare models to the insured go-it-alone common practice. Because the consortium approach was a new concept, the school took a wait and see approach while continuing to keep an eye on edHEALTH’s progress. In 2019, the college requested a rate quote and met with edHEALTH staff to see whether joining would be an appropriate long-term strategy. They found that there would be minimal provider and benefit disruption to faculty and staff while also saving employees and the college money. As a result of their research, the college decided to join edHEALTH effective July 1, 2020.“The college wanted to think creatively about how to support the college’s mission while offering faculty and staff a competitive benefits package,” said Heather Faley, Director of Human Resources. “The edHEALTH mode...

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Population Health Vendor Providing Free COVID-19 Assistance

edHEALTH’s population health and clinical assistance partner is offering free assistance to all member school employees, even if a school is not enrolled in the program. Employees and covered dependents can call the nurse hotline to get answers to COVID-19 related concerns:Questions about COVID-19Resources specific to a patient’s or family member’s COVID-19Helping with the adjustment to working from homeSupporting parents with children home from schoolProviding strategies for employees with elderly parents or relatives feeling isolatedOffering resources for stress and anxietyLet your employees know about this free resource by distributing COVID-19 Assistance flyer 2020.pdf.

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April 2020 edHEALTH News

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major effect on higher education institutions and healthcare. Find out how edHEALTH is responding in the April 2020 digital edition of our newsletter.

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edHEALTH’s Population Health Program Provides Critical Resource During COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis is driving demand for help from edHEALTH’s population health vendor. Under this program, the highest risk, highest cost employees and their covered families receive a coordinated care approach that supports their needs. With a focus on the 5% of the population that comprises 53% of claims, these patients are at high risk for COVID-19.  COVID-19 Risk FactorsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control, COVID-19 risk factors include:Age 65 or overLung risk (e.g., asthma; COPD; tracheostomy)Heart risk (e.g., Coronary Artery Disease; Pulmonary Hypertension)Diabetes risk (Type I or Type II)Neurological risk (e.g., Cystic Fibrosis; Muscular Dystrophy; Parkinson’s Disease)Immune system risk (e.g., organ or bone marrow transplant; Systemic Lupus)Cancer risk (e.g., malignant neoplasms; Leukemia)Liver risk (e.g., End Stage Renal Disease; Hypertensive Chronic Kidney Disease)A...

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